Service user confidentiality
The Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust is committed to protecting service users' confidentiality. Legally, we have to get permission from service users or their next of kin in order to give information to the media. Requests for interviewing/photographing service users should always be made through the communications team on 01603 421154.
Out of hours media contact
For out of hours calls, please contact the on-call director via the main switchboard on 01603 421421.
Dealing with service user complaints through the media
We are legally obliged to ask permission of service users to discuss their individual circumstances. In the event of a media enquiry regarding a service user complaint about their clinical treatment, or about other hospital services, we do have to check the individual or their next of kin is happy for us to talk to the media. This is not because we are trying to be obstructive. This is because, legally, we have to confirm the service user is willing to have information about their care shared publicly.
Media contacting hospital staff
It is the Trust's policy that if staff are contacted by a member of the media they must put the journalist in touch with the communications team. In such circumstances, our staff are advised not to give comments to the press unless previously discussed and agreed with the communications team.
Visits to hospital sites
Media visits to our hospitals should be cleared in advance through the communications team. Our hospitals do have areas open to public access but also have restricted areas where privacy is very important because of security and patient confidentiality.
We recognise there will be times when service users or relatives directly invite the media to our hospitals and it is the role of the communications team is to help smooth the way for such visits.
Unannounced visits can lead to unnecessary misunderstandings and our role is to try and facilitate such visits when appropriate. This is consistent with article 8 of the Press Complaints Commission Code of Practice regarding hospitals and Ofcom's Broadcasting Code, Section 8, regarding privacy, in relation to hospitals.
What's the Story: Reporting mental health and suicide
As a journalist you can make a difference by helping to reduce stigma. What’s the Story is produced by Shift, the Department of Health-funded campaign to tackle the stigma and discrimination associated with mental illness, they have produced a media handbook for repotring on mental health and suicide. Access your copy here.